Priesthood of all believers
Mar 25, · The priesthood of all believers is the teaching within the Protestant Reformation, particularly in Lutheranism, where all believers have direct access to God and do not need to go through a priest. Jesus is our high priest, and Jesus said to go directly to him (Matthew ). A priest is someone who stands between God and people and ministers to God on behalf of people. Definition of priesthood of all believers.: a doctrine of the Protestant Christian Church: every individual has direct access to God without ecclesiastical mediation and each individual shares the responsibility of ministering to the other members of the community of believers.
Priesthood of all believerscardinal doctrinal principle of the churches of the 16th-century Reformationboth Lutheran and Reformedand the Protestant Free churches that arose from the Reformation churches.
The doctrine asserts that all humans have access to God through Christthe true high priestand thus do not need a priestly mediator. This introduced a democratic element in the functioning of the church that meant all Christians were equal. The ordained clergy thus were representatives of the entire congregationpreaching and administering the sacraments. Priesthood of all believers. Additional Info. More About Contributors Article History. Print Cite verified Cite. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies.
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Read More on This Topic. The Protestant Heritage: The priesthood of all believers. If the teaching of justification had important consequences for the doctrines of God and of humanity in Protestantism, it had equally important If the teaching of justification had important consequences for the doctrines of God and of humanity in Protestantism, it had equally important consequences for the Protestant understanding of the church and the relationship between clergy and laity.
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Priesthood of all believers, cardinal doctrinal principle of the churches of the 16th-century Reformation, both Lutheran and Reformed, and the Protestant Free churches that arose from the Reformation churches. The doctrine asserts that all humans have access to God through Christ, the true high priest, and thus do not need a priestly mediator. Oct 20, · Question: "Is the priesthood of all believers biblical?" Answer: There is one main passage that deals with the priesthood of all believers. It is as follows: "You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, . Feb 09, · The term “the priesthood of the believer” communicates the biblical emphasis on the individual and soul competency. The term “priesthood of believers” communicates the biblical emphasis on community and fellowship. Throughout history in all aspects of life, a tension has existed between the individual and the group.
To say that a Baptist is a priest sounds strange to some persons. But we are. Every one of us. In fact, Baptists insist that all who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior are priests, believer priests. The concept of the priesthood of believers is basic for Baptists.
As with some other beliefs important to Baptists, we have varying interpretations of what the concept means, but we all treasure the biblical truth of the priesthood of believers. Being a priest involves both opportunity and responsibility. In the Old Testament, a priest held a special place in the worship of God. Priests were responsible for certain aspects of worship, such as the sacrifice of animals.
They served as mediators between the people and God. The High Priest, the head priest, was the only one, however, allowed to enter the Holy of Holies in the Jewish temple. This especially sacred place was separated from the rest of the temple and from the other priests and worshippers by a great curtain or veil. With the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, all of this changed.
No longer was the sacrifice of animals appropriate, because Christ, the Lamb of God, had given himself as a sacrifice for sin. This was a once-and-for-all act. No longer were priests of the Old Testament variety needed. Indeed, all who believe in Jesus become priests with direct access to God. Human mediators are no longer needed. We can go directly to God in prayer, confession, praise and worship.
What an opportunity! But being a priest also carries responsibility. In the Old Testament, a priest in a sense represented God to the people. Today, the believer priest has responsibility to share his or her knowledge of God with other persons, both in word and in deed. This responsibility is carried out in various ways by Baptists, such as in evangelism, missions, ministry and social action to benefit others.
Martin Luther, a leader in the Protestant Reformation, is often linked with the concept of the priesthood of believers. Luther insisted that every believer was a priest, with direct access to God. He did not call for the elimination of the role of pastors but indicated that all persons, not just pastors, had a priestly function.
Even before Luther burst on the European church scene, various Christian groups had stressed the priesthood of believers. However, the concept of the priesthood of believers for Baptists does not come from the teachings of Luther or any Christian group but from the New Testament. On the basis of various New Testament passages, Baptists have insisted that every person who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ has access directly to God. Each is directly responsible to God.
Each is to share the love of God. The priesthood of each believer in Baptist thought is tied closely to another concept, that of soul competency. A decision to follow Christ as Lord and Savior is an individual decision; no one can make it for another. Being a believer priest is a gift from God, not a human achievement; it comes with salvation. Each believer priest is responsible for his or her own actions. Individual believers can go directly to God without the aid of any intermediary.
Individuals can and should read and interpret the Bible for themselves without religious officials dictating to them what to believe. Believer priests are all equal to one another in Christ Galatians Each believer priest has a responsibility to be committed to Christ and to share Christ through word and deed.
Therefore, a church does not have only one priest. Potentially it has many who communicate the love and forgiveness of God and demonstrate concern and compassion of one believer for another. The New Testament also speaks of the priesthood of believers.
Believer priests are part of the body of Christ. They form a community of believers. Although each believer priest is individually responsible to God, all believer priests are related to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. This communal aspect of believer priesthood highlights the fact that being a Christian involves fellowship with other believers.
This fellowship functions to encourage and assist the believer in Christian growth and ministry. How sad and difficult it would be to live the Christian life in isolation from other believers. Although each believer priest can and ought to read and interpret the Bible for herself or himself, the competent and wise believer will seek insight and understanding from other believer priests. The Baptist model of a church rests on the concept of the priesthood of believers.
A church is made up of persons who have exercised their God-given competency by believing in Jesus as Savior and Lord and by voluntarily associating with a particular fellowship of believers. Each believer priest in the fellowship is equal to all of the others. Therefore, no one is in authority over all.
Thus decisions are made by the community of priests seeking to know the will of the head of the church, the great High Priest, Jesus Christ.
They do this by prayer, Bible study, meditation, discussion and decision. So, which is it? Priesthood of the believer or priesthood of believers? Throughout history in all aspects of life, a tension has existed between the individual and the group. Baptists have not escaped this tension.
We do well when we refuse to elevate one above the other, but instead attempt to keep them in balance. The Priesthood of The Believer or of Believers.